Last night at the Vogue, Eno gave an illustrated talk (with some truly charming and useful on the spot illustrations) about art and his relationship to it. A number of interesting points came up, most of which will probably lose their sharpness for you because they were filtered through me.
He said that English is missing a word. We had theatre, and then we had film, and those two disciplines are quite separate. They have their own words and their own understandings both aesthetic and technical. When performance music split from recorded music we got no such division in words, which is a loss. I was immediately thinking about filk, and the emphasis on performance. Anyway, he believes that they are two different disciplines and should be as distinct as theatre and film in how we speak of them as well.
Another thing he said is that art has been shaped very dramatically by three pivotal changes in the human world view, at least as expressed as an outgrowth of ‘Western thought’.
One was Copernicus; hey guess what, we’re not the center of the universe. One was Darwin; we are at the top of the food chain because of evolution, not God. The last was the development of complexity theory, including cellular automata which allow you to see without equivocation how complexity can proceed – in fact, must proceed – from extremely simple rules.
At the end he talked about how his work slides along the Control at one end and Surrender at the other end Axis. Once again, a good working image.
He talked for two hours and Jeff and I came home.